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TSA Travel Tips Tuesday: Hand Warmers

Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Thermometer

Photo Courtesy of Polk County Iowa

Tune in to the news and you will hear about the spate of cold weather in the U.S. and other parts of the world. If you are planning on being outdoors as part of your travels, a hand warmer might be on your list of bring along items.

There are several types of hand warmers. Continue reading to see the packing guidelines for each type:

Air Activated Hand Warmers

Air Activated (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

Air Activated - These are the more common disposable types that are activated when you open the package and expose them to air. They can be packed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Battery Powered - Battery powered hand warmers are permitted in both carry-on and checked baggage. Check out this post for more information on batteries.

Crystallization - This is the type that you flex or squeeze to activate. They contain liquid and require adherence to our 3-1-1 guidelines. They can be packed in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Crystallization Hand Warmer

Crystallization (Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)

Lighter Fuel Hand Warmer

Lighter Fuel Hand Warmer

Lighter Fuel - These hand warmers are permitted in carry-on bags. They can be packed in checked baggage as long as they are empty with no noticeable fuel vapors. If they contain fuel, they must be placed in a DOT marked airtight case. Lighter fuel by itself is prohibited all together.

See you next Tuesday with more TSA travel tips!

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Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.

Comments

Submitted by Anonymous on

None of the air activated hand warners I have used contain liquid. You might want to double check that advice.

Submitted by Anonymous on

help me to understand being able to put a lighter-fluid charged handwarmer in my carry on that is very flammable and it does not fall under the 3-1-1 rule. A knitting needle is okay; BUT a small pocket knife is the tool of a terrorist and evil person? You folks need to share what you are smoking when ya;l ante=up the clouded rules that are okay'd by general emotional consensus. To bad there is not a obfuscation event in the Olympics because those making the rules would win hands-down! AND, isn't lighter fluid a cancer-causing substance?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Hiding behind hand warmers and puppy Tweets rather than address the recent humiliation of a cancer survivor, eh, blotter team?

All of the hearts and valentines and dogs and insignificant statistics does not negate the assaults and violations committed at the hands of the TSA.

*screen shot*

Submitted by Anonymous on

still waiting for an answer on why all active duty military (who do not need to even be citizens) are allowed through precheck automatically, while military retirees (who dedicated at least 20 years to our Nation) and those with active security clearance investigations (which are more thorough than your precheck BI) are not. when is someone going to answer that simple policy question???

Submitted by Anonymous on

I've never seen an air activated hand warmer that was anything but dry material -- I'm not ssaying that there are not gel or liquid ones, but the only ones I've encountered were dry chemicals. I believe you should qualify your statement about them.

Submitted by Anonymous on

the air activated hand warmers are filled with dry chemicals and fine iron powder, which when exposed to air starts to rust rapidly. this exothermic reaction produces the heat that warms your hands. there is no liquid present in the packs (although moisture from the air and your skin is important to the oxidation process).

[rainbow]THE MORE YOU KNOW[/rainbow]

Submitted by RB on

Which type of hand warmer is least likely to be stolen by a TSA employee?

Submitted by Anonymous on

There are gel type hand warmers. They can be reused by heating them in boiling water.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Unbelievable. TSA won't deny the content of Jason Harrington's Politico article, but TSA has yet to apologize to the nation for irradiating innocent travelers (via backscatter scanners) and for exposing travelers' naked bodies to strangers (via the remote viewing rooms). Sure, backscatter scanners are gone, and TSA doesn't use the booths nowadays, but TSA owes travelers an apology for these past abuses.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Some of the liquid heat packs I've used become solid after use. They can be boiled and reused. Would a heat pack like this be allowed through security in the solid form? If so, why is that? It contains the exact same chemicals and amount of chemicals. It doesn't make sense that an item in a liquid state is only safe in a ziplock bag and the same item in a solid state is safe no matter how many someone has and no matter where it is placed in luggage.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Yeah please comment on what Anonymous said.

That link on Drudgereport that linked to Infowars that linked to a forum post. That "article" had so much credibility, as Infowars and Drudge are well respected pillars of the community, that NEVER run unverified stories to advance their agenda.

Also weird is that both sites have taken the article off their main page, when TSA bashing articles usually stay at least 3 days on both sites.

Submitted by Anonymous on

More than one commenter took issue with an allegation that air activated handwarmers might contain liquid. The blog doesn't state that.

Please read all the descriptions carefully.

Submitted by Anonymous on

Interesting that you've quietly corrected the post to remove the incorrect statement that air-activated hand warmers contain liquid, but have made no acknowledgement of the earlier error nor any acknowledgement thanking the commenters for pointing out the error.

Instead, it now makes the commenters statements look nonsensical and undermines their credibility. I trust that was not on purpose, was it?

Submitted by RB on

Why hasn't TSA addressed the latest TSA abuses to the public. Aren't issues like this important to TSA leadership?

How about some information TSA? Who did these things? Was it in compliance wit SOP? If not what action is TSA taking to be sure it never happens to another person ever again?


TSA Agents Interrogate Jewish Author For Reading Conservative Newspaper

“He’s Wearing a Diaper!”: TSA Agent Humiliates Cancer Victim

TSA, you can try ignoring the issues but we are not going away. TSA must think itself not accountable to the public but I for one think that is a boneheaded approach.

Submitted by RB on

Bobbie, you want to tell us about this?


Naked Ambition: TSA Wants New Generation Of Body Scanners

So what kind of Strip Search Machines is TSA looking for now?

Is TSA considering any form of machine that uses x rays?

Will these machines actually be able to identify explosives or will a wet diaper still out fox TSA?

Surely this falls under "The purpose of this blog is to communicate with the public about all things TSA related" clause.

Submitted by Anonymous on

To TSAnonymous from Feb 12, 5:54pm: I didn't know Drudge Report linked to the humiliated cancer survivor report. I don't read Infowars, but there were a lot of Tweets referencing that site.

So, anyway, if it is a load of hooey like you are claiming, why don't your fellow TSA employees just say so? The blotter team here has done so in the past, in the most condescending manner, but they have done it. What are they afraid of now?

West? You want to pipe in for the blotter team?

Submitted by Anonymous on

Did anyone actually read what BB said about the “Air Activated Hand Warmers”? Here is the quote:
“Air Activated – These are the more common disposable types that are activated when you open the package and expose them to air. They can be packed in both carry-on and checked baggage.”

Nothing in that description says anything about a liquid component. Yet I count 3 comments (out of 10) from people who didn’t read the information provided before jumping BB’s case for what turns out to be their own mistake.

Well done Bob, good info for the winter traveler.

Submitted by Anonymous on

It looks like they're somehow using their dod id card number to vet them. I'm a retiree too and I can see how our blue IDs with no # could be counterfeited easier, no central database and all.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

Anon sez - "West? You want to pipe in for the blotter team?"

I can comment about nothing on this situation, other than there have been a ton of articles, and the original post has been deleted. I have no further info.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by Anonymous on

Thank-you, West, for your reply.

To the TSAnonymous of Feb 14, 4:58pm, the blotter team edited the article in an unethical and unprofessional manner, changing the wording without indicating what had been edited. This is against any good blotter practice, especially one that accepts comments.

The flying public was commenting on the original blotter post, not what is currently seen.

Lack of transparency and accountability are two major flaws with this blotter site. Once in a while, an honest statement is made by a TSA employee, and is appreciated. Most of the time, though, its lies and obfuscation.

* screen shot *

Submitted by Susan Richart on

RB wrote:

"Naked Ambition: TSA Wants New Generation Of Body Scanners

So what kind of Strip Search Machines is TSA looking for now?"

Why is the TSA looking for a "new generation of scanners" when they have been directed by Congress to make certain that at least 50% of passengers are screened using PreCheck?

That would seem like a total waste of money. Then again, maybe with these new scanners (I wonder if they will work), TSA has an excuse to send everyone through a scanner and dump PreCheck.

What a waste of money!

screen shot/DHS OIG

Submitted by Anonymous on

If TSA is planning to implement a new kind of body scanner, I must have missed the public input opportunity.

Submitted by RB on

GSOLTSO said...Anon sez - "West? You want to pipe in for the blotter team?"

I can comment about nothing on this situation, other than there have been a ton of articles, and the original post has been deleted. I have no further info.WestTSA Blog TeamFebruary 15, 2014 at 4:57 AM

___________________________________

Are you not allowed to comment? Both articles are available at Infowars.

Submitted by GSOLTSO on

RB sez - "Are you not allowed to comment? Both articles are available at Infowars."

At this point, there is no way to conduct an investigation into the claim. The individual that posted the original story has not come forward (as far as I know) with a complaint, no airport was indicated in the original post (that has been deleted at this time), so no investigation can be conducted. There is simply not enough information to comment past what I have already said.

West
TSA Blog Team

Submitted by RB on

 GSOLTSO said...RB sez - "Are you not allowed to comment? Both articles are available at Infowars."At this point, there is no way to conduct an investigation into the claim. The individual that posted the original story has not come forward (as far as I know) with a complaint, no airport was indicated in the original post (that has been deleted at this time), so no investigation can be conducted. There is simply not enough information to comment past what I have already said.WestTSA Blog TeamFebruary 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM

------------------------------------------

TSA doesn't care to investgate the story just like no apparent investigation was done over the lady reading a conservative paper.

The public is suppose to believe that TSA will investigate and discipline workers when needed but the facts seem to suggest that it is far easier to look the other way.

Typical TSA.

Submitted by SCUBA PRO on

Serious Question;
I use the crystallization type warmers for SCUBA diving. Once activated they contain ZERO liquid until you boil them at which point the melt back to a liquid state. I usually travel with them in the solid state. Of course, due to the xray image they get pulled. Are they or are they not allowed in carry on bags in the SOLID form?

Submitted by Anonymous on

For those that were attacking TSA for saying that there were liquid hand warmers when there are none should try researching before making fools of themselves. Try google.com or some other search engine. Two examples of liquid hand warmers are "hotspot" and "heatwave." Simply because you are not aware of something does not mean that it does not exit = you are not all-knowing.

Submitted by Anonymous on

test

Submitted by Anonymous on
Anonymous said...
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February 21, 2014 at 10:08 PM

That is blog-worthy? I worry about the quality of the moderation here.
Submitted by Stephanie Rodgers on

I always find it hard to determine what is and isn't allowed through the TSA checkpoints at the airport. While traveling to the northeast during the severe weather, I was stopped and search extensively because of the hand warmers I had packed in my carry-on. The TSA agents finally let me through because the hand warmers fit their 3-1-1 guidelines. Next time I travel I will be sure to search the items before getting to the airport to make sure they are permitted so that I'm not held up again . TSA Approved

Submitted by Hoteles En Cali on

I've never seen an air activated hand warmer that was anything but dry material now. Good Luck!

Submitted by Berkley Bouer on

Before reading this, I personally contacted TSA and the agent told me that you can bring air-activated and battery hand warmers in carry-ons.

Btw, I recommend that you guys all download the MyTSA app - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=gov.dhs.tsa.mytsa&hl=en_US
You can put in the item you're considering to put in your carry on to see if it's acceptable by the TSA. Unfortunately, the app doesn't have too specific information; it says you can bring hand warmers but it doesn't specify.

Based on reading this - https://battlethepain.org/hand-warmers-buyers-guide/ ,
I decided to get a battery hand warmer, and it has served me very well. They last as long as any domestic flight would. I also bring a battery thingy to charge my phone and other devices, so I could always recharge it if it runs out.